U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons

A federal inmate is appealing his conviction for selling a drug that almost caused a user's death.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last week.

Michael Cooper says the U.S. Attorney should not have been allowed to tell the jury about a prior drug sale leading to an overdose. And he says the government failed to prove its case.

Victoria Wicks has more of this story for SDPB.

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In 2016, public and private officials gathered on a 10-acre tract of land near Brookings to break ground for an indoor aquaponics farm.

Investors were told the $11 million enterprise would raise fish and grow hydroponic vegetables and fruit.

But it was never built.

A year and a half later, the two developers were indicted for fraud.

Both were convicted, and one of them is now appealing. Oral arguments were held telephonically on Wednesday, Oct. 21, before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. Attorney

Fentanyl analogs are lethal drugs, but they have not been permanently scheduled by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and therefore have not been deemed illegal. The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota says emergency restrictions are in place, but Congress needs to take action.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Victoria Wicks

Stanley Patrick Weber will serve the rest of his life in federal prison.

The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was convicted earlier this year of raping and sexually assaulting boys who were his patients at Pine Ridge IHS.

Weber was sentenced in Rapid City federal court on Monday, Feb. 11.

In crafting the sentence, Federal Judge Jeffrey Viken considered the lifelong damage done to each victim.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Kristina Barker, Wall Street Journal, PBS

Stanley Patrick Weber was convicted on Sept. 27, 2019, of 11 counts of sexual abuse against four Pine Ridge boys who were his patients. The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office, and the trial took place in the federal courthouse in Rapid City.

Weber was previously convicted in Montana of similar charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Weber’s crimes garnered national attention, in particular in a joint investigation by PBS’s Frontline and the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Attorney

Stanley Patrick Weber was convicted on Friday, Sept. 27, of 11 counts of sexual abuse against four Pine Ridge boys who were his patients.

The former Indian Health Services pediatrician was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office, and the trial took place in the federal courthouse in Rapid City.

Weber was previously found guilty in Montana of similar charges and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks sat through the trial and reported during the week.

Jackie Hendry

The rates for both suicide deaths and drug overdoses are highest in rural America, and those statistics continue to rise in South Dakota. On Thursday in Sioux Falls, Avera Health and the Department of Justice held a conference to help community members respond to the ongoing crisis. 

This is the fifth year that Avera and the DOJ have partnered for a conference on a particular topic. U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons says this year’s theme suggested itself.